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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

stretched his arms out one dark morning, but,
Mrs. Ramsay having died rather suddenly the
night before, he stretched his arms out. They
remained empty.]

So with the house empty and the doors locked
and the mattresses rolled round, those stray airs,
advance guards of great armies, blustered in,
brushed bare boards, nibbled and fanned, met
nothing in bedroom or drawing-room that wholly
resisted them but only hangings that flapped,
wood that creaked, the bare legs of tables, sauce-
pans and china already furred, tarnished, cracked.
What people had shed and left—a pair of shoes,
a shooting cap, some faded skirts and coats in
wardrobes—those alone kept the human shape
and in the emptiness indicated how once they were
filled and animated; how once hands were busy
with hooks and buttons; how once the looking-
glass had held a face; had held a world hollowed
out in which a figure turned, a hand flashed, the
door opened, in came children rushing and
tumbling; and went out again. Now, day after
day, light turned, like a flower reflected in water,
its clear image on the wall opposite. Only the
shadows of the trees, flourishing in the wind,
made obeisance on the wall, and for a moment
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